A television character once said it is not bravery to plunge without return at the helm of a sinking ship. Better, said he, to make a rowboat of the side beams and live – albeit in quiet ignominy, than become sea fodder without the prospect of rising again. A sound reasoning, and one that has been adopted by countless individuals of note who have suffered spectacular failures, crawled back to their men cave to recuperate, and emerged after a reasonable period of forced hibernation and exile.
Former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere has passed from public eye into isolation following his loss in the last Akwa Ibom gubernatorial election. This choice of motivated hole up has been the resort of many a political gamer, especially in the fluid conditions of the Nigerian adaptation of democratic politicking. Like Oscar Wilde’s Reading Gael narrative, some grow mad in that isolation, while others acquire a sense of duty to punish wrongs or polish off chinks in character.
Nkere’s case is peculiar in the sense that he didn’t take too long to decide on this pilgrimage. Barely six months after losing the All Progressives Congress (APC) petition at the election tribunal sitting in Uyo to claim Governor Udom Emmanuel’s seat, the halls of the politico no longer echo his boisterous strides. To onlookers and interested eyes, Nkere has retired to his shell, equal parts reticent and sedated.
It might be recalled that this is not the first time that the native of Ikot Oboroenyin of Edemaya Clan of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has suffered loss following the state’s gubernatorial election. Nkere lost the Primary Elections in the PDP for the 2015 Gubernatorial Elections to the very same Udom Emmanuel – after which he defected to the APC to contest, a rather curious fact, for the same governorship elections. He lost.
However, on the heels of that 2015 defeat came the summons that he takes up the NDDC management role. And he did.
While this fresh loss might bear graver indications and consequences, there is the likelihood that Nkere will soon spring out to clinch one ministerial position or another, much as he did the other time.